£1.8m scheme helps places of worship build ‘sustainable future’

St Edmund's Church in Southwold is one of many places of worship to benefit from the scheme Picture:

St Edmund's Church in Southwold is one of many places of worship to benefit from the scheme Picture: MIKE PAGE

Places of worship throughout Suffolk have benefitted from a £1.8million scheme aimed at repairing and protecting historic buildings.

The Taylor Review pilot scheme, which was launched in 2018, has helped provide advice, guidance and financial support as institutions prepare for the future.

A total of 27 places of worship in Suffolk have been recipients of the government grant so far.

Helen Whately, minister for arts, heritage and tourism, said: "I am delighted that so many buildings in Suffolk have benefitted from this funding.

"Our country has a rich and fascinating religious history and places of worship have been at the heart of communities for centuries.

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"The Taylor Review pilot scheme is helping to protect and preserve these important places of worship, and keep them central to our communities."

Funded by the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, the Taylor Review scheme was introduced in September 2018 and is run by Historic England.

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The pilot runs until March 2020 in Suffolk and Greater Manchester, with the intention of creating "sustainable futures" for places of worship.

Money can be provided for a variety of reasons - from structural repairs to advice and guidance workshops, as well as promoting community engagement.

Grants for 54 buildings have so far been awarded from the £1.8m fund overall.

The Church of St Mary the Virgin in Wortham is one of the many places of worship to benefit from the scheme, having received funding to repair its roof and walls.

Cathy Hume of the church said: "The support and guidance from Historic England has been invaluable.

"Taking part in this scheme has heightened my awareness of the church building and how to care for it.

"It has also given me knowledge and confidence to tackle the bigger challenges that the church fabric presents."

Duncan Wilson, chief executive of Historic England, added: "We are delighted that the Taylor Review Pilot has successfully repaired and restored 54 listed faith buildings in its inaugural year.

"We look forward to continuing to work with local communities nationwide to help maintain some of our most important places of worship."

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